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Fiscal foundations of inflation: Imperfect knowledge

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  • Stefano Eusepi
  • Bruce Preston

Abstract

This paper proposes a theory of the fiscal foundations of inflation based on imperfect knowledge and learning. Because imperfect knowledge breaks Ricardian equivalence the scale and composition of the public debt matter for inflation. High moderate-duration debt generates wealth effects on consumption demand that impairs the intertemporal substitution channel of monetary policy: aggressive monetary policy is required to anchor inflation expectations. Counterfactual experiments, in an estimated medium-scale DSGE model, reveal the US economy would have been substantially more volatile over the Great Inflation and Great Moderation periods, had average debt been consistent with levels currently observed in Italy or Japan.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2017. "Fiscal foundations of inflation: Imperfect knowledge," CAMA Working Papers 2017-34, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2017-34
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    File URL: https://cama.crawford.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/publication/cama_crawford_anu_edu_au/2017-05/34_2017_eusepi_preston.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Slobodyan, Sergey & Wouters, Raf, 2012. "Learning in an estimated medium-scale DSGE model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 26-46.
    2. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja & Kaushik Mitra, 2012. "Does Ricardian Equivalence Hold When Expectations Are Not Rational?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(7), pages 1259-1283, October.
    3. Bruce Preston, 2005. "Learning about Monetary Policy Rules when Long-Horizon Expectations Matter," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(2), September.
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    5. Jesus Fernández-Villaverde & Pablo Guerrón-Quintana & Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez, 2010. "Fortune or virtue: time-variant volatilities versus parameter drifting," Working Papers 10-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    6. Michael Woodford, 1996. "Control of the Public Debt: A Requirement for Price Stability?," NBER Working Papers 5684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    8. Thomas A. Lubik & Frank Schorfheide, 2004. "Testing for Indeterminacy: An Application to U.S. Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 190-217, March.
    9. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2007. "Fluctuating Macro Policies and the Fiscal Theory," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 247-316 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    11. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
    12. Richard H. Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary policy rules in practice," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
    13. Stefano Eusepi & Marc Giannoni & Bruce Preston, 2012. "Long-term debt pricing and monetary policy transmission under imperfect knowledge," Staff Reports 547, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    14. Francesco Bianchi, 2013. "Regime Switches, Agents' Beliefs, and Post-World War II U.S. Macroeconomic Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 463-490.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Bianchi & Cosmin Ilut, 2017. "Monetary/Fiscal Policy Mix and Agent's Beliefs," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 26, pages 113-139, October.
    2. Eric M Leeper & Campbell Leith & Ding Liu, 2016. "Optimal Time-Consistent Monetary, Fiscal and Debt Maturity Policy," Working Papers 2016_04, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    3. Begona Dominguez & Pedro Gomis-Porqueras, . "The effects of secondary markets for government bonds on inflation dynamics," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Eric M. Leeper, 2016. "Should Central Banks Care About Fiscal Rules?," NBER Working Papers 22800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. repec:eee:macchp:v2-2305 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Kliem, Martin & Kriwoluzky, Alexander & Sarferaz, Samad, 2016. "Monetary–fiscal policy interaction and fiscal inflation: A tale of three countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 158-184.
    7. Martin Geiger & Marios Zachariadis, 2019. "Assessing Expectations as a Monetary/Fiscal State-Dependent Phenomenon," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 01-2019, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    8. Michael Woodford, 2013. "Macroeconomic Analysis Without the Rational Expectations Hypothesis," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 303-346, May.
    9. Eric M. Leeper & Xuan Zhou, 2013. "Inflation's Role in Optimal Monetary-Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 19686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Monetary and Fiscal Interactions; Learning Dynamics; Expectations Stabilization; Great Moderation; Great Inflation;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations

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